Texas finally took Manhattan.
Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger passed for 207 yards and a TD and engineered a drive that ran out the final 6 minutes, 20 seconds to guide the 20th-ranked Longhorns past Kansas State 19-14 on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Manhattan, Kansas.
The win was the first on the road for the Longhorns (4-1, 2-0 in Big 12 play) against Kansas State since 2002; Texas is now 2-7 all-time in Manhattan.
Texas dominated the first half but Kansas State (2-3, 0-2 in Big 12) pushed back in the second, threatening to pull the upset until the final drive by the Longhorns.
D’Shawn Jamison got the Longhorns off on the right foot when he went untouched down the left sideline for a 90-yard punt return touchdown with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
Texas added to its lead on an 11-play, 89-yard drive on which they used a throwback pass from running back Tre Watson to Ehlinger. That play set the table for Ehlinger’s 4-yard TD pass to Collin Johnson and a 14-0 Longhorns lead with 14:03 to play in the second quarter.
The Longhorns’ defense got in on the action. Defensive end Charles Omenihu tackled Kansas State quarterback Alex Delton for a safety two snaps after Omenihu sacked Delton in the shadow of the Wildcats’ goal line.
Freshman kicker Cameron Dicker nailed a 28-yard field goal at the end of a 13-play, 58-yard drive to move the Longhorns advantage to 19-0 with 7:15 to play before halftime.
Kansas State had a chance to cut into the lead at the end of the half, moving to the Texas 2-yard-line after a poor Longhorns drive, a short punt and a dubious defensive holding penalty on UT’s Anthony Wheeler.
Instead of taking the almost certain shorter-than-an-extra-point field goal, Kansas State rolled the dice on a pass from Delton to Adam Harter that eluded the Wildcats’ fullback, allowing Texas to keep the shutout intact at intermission.
The Wildcats switched quarterbacks to Skylar Thompson (96 yards passing) to begin the third quarter and forged an 82-yard drive to the a 7-yard TD run cutting the Texas lead to 19-7 with 11:13 to play in the period.
After Dicker missed from 47, Kansas State rattled of a 16-play drive including a 1-yard TD run by Alex Barnes (19 carries for 80 yards) on the direct snap on fourth down, bringing the Wildcats to within 19-14 with 9:55 to play. But Kansas State would get on closer.
–Steve Habel (@SteveHabel), Field Level Media